The Office of Undergraduate Research’s fifth-annual STEM Conference, originally slated for Oct. 14, has been rescheduled for Oct. 24. The conference will be held in the Archer Physics Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Deadline for submissions is Oct. 13.
The conference is sponsored by ExxonMobil and is designed for undergraduate STEM students from around the country to present their projects.
“Undergraduate research is an endeavor that Lamar is adamant in pursuing and showcasing, and the university is top-notch for it,” OUR assistant director Catalina Castillón said. “This conference gives students who have thought about pursuing undergrad research, but are unsure of the process, to see and understand the work that goes into it.”
A common misconception is that research programs are reserved specifically for professorial applications or for students looking to get into graduate school, Castillón said, but Lamar offers programs that are available to all grade levels — which is the focal point of the conference.
“We want students to pursue all kinds of research and to delve into their creativity,” she said. “These conferences can help students realize their full potential.”
Castillón emphasized that no matter the field of study or university of origin, there are grants that students can earn to explore their interests.
“Our conferences are open to students from everywhere — not just Lamar,” she said. “That’s extremely important, because it allows our students to see others’ perspectives which broadens their horizons in so many ways.”
With participants from other universities attending the conference, Lamar students are able to advertise their findings which creates new opportunities for funding or furthering research.
“The research presented at conferences is not always flawless,” Castillón said. “That’s actually a good thing, because students can collaborate with each other to figure out their missteps and create more accurate results.”
The main goal of the STEM conference is to inspire students, Castillón said.
“Whether that inspiration includes empowering women in the STEM fields or showing students how to apply their skills, it is all integral to the program’s success,” she said. “It’s important for all students to realize that they have the same amount of potential as their colleagues, no matter their backgrounds.”
To apply or for more information, go to the department of undergraduate research at the Lamar University website or call Antoinette Henry at 880-8430.
Story by Olivia Malick, UP staff writer